News & Events

Check this section for Yukon Energy's latest news and coming events.

If you have questions about any of the information posted here, please contact:

Janet Patterson
Manager, Communications
Yukon Energy Corporation
Phone: (867) 393-5333
Email: janet.patterson@yec.yk.ca

News, Energy Supply, Regulatory, Reliability
Dec 04, 2018  Comment

Responding to Concerns About the Aishihik Relicensing

You may have heard news stories about concerns by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations about the process to relicense the Aishihik hydro facility. We feel we owe it to Yukoners to explain the situation from our point of view. Aishihik hydro is a key power plant in Yukon’s renewable energy system. Twenty-five percent of the hydro produced by Yukon Energy comes from the Aishihik plant. In winter, as much as 50 percent of our renewable energy comes from Aishihik. The Aishihik facility reduces our reliance on diesel and LNG, which decreases GHG emissions and fuel costs. About 2 ½ years ago, CAFN and Yukon Energy entered into a protocol agreement to cooperatively plan for the relicensing of the Aishihik power plant. The license expires at the end of next year. Working together, we established: A steering committee (one member each from CAFN and Yukon Energy) to oversee the work and provide high level guidance. An advisory committee of CAFN, Yukon Energy, various government departments and non-governmental organizations. It made recommendations on interests, values, and technical matters. A Champagne and Aishihik Community Advisory Committee that met frequently to provide information to the project and engage with CAFN citizens. We also provided funding to CAFN for a traditional knowledge project that included archival and oral history research, as well as map biographies and oral history interviews. CAFN and Yukon Energy jointly selected a consulting team to conduct a comprehensive series of field studies, research, and analysis over several years regarding the environment and people in the Aishihik area. This information was considered alongside other monitoring and research information that has been collected in the project area over the last 40 years.  CAFN citizens participated directly in most of the field studies and research. Yukon Energy has contributed more than $600,000 to CAFN over the last 2.5 years on this project. We have worked with CAFN in good faith in an attempt to agree on a proposal that balances energy needs with preserving the long-term health and well-being of the land, water, and people. We listened to their concerns, and this has shaped what we plan to include in a project proposal to YESAB. For instance, we have agreed on monitoring and adaptive management to reduce winter flooding and erosion downstream from the Aishihik plant. Another change that both parties agreed to is to remove aesthetic flows at Otter Falls, something that is not expected to have any adverse effects on fish. We have been working together on monitoring of fish and wildlife at Aishihik Lake. What we have not been able to agree on is the operating range of the lake. Yukon Energy and CAFN held a workshop in early September where we had agreed we would discuss a variety of options for the operating range of Aishihik Lake. However at that workshop it became very clear to us that for CAFN, the only viable option was to return the lake to levels seen before the dam was built. We feel we cannot do that, for a number of reasons. First of all, the science shows that the lake and the fish in the lake are healthy. There are no key drivers that we can point to in the scientific research that convince us we should significantly change the lake operation. Also, if we did not have Aishihik and its water storage, we estimate that a new replacement generating plant would cost more than $100 million. In addition, if we returned the lake to levels before the dam was built, YEC would need to burn more than $10 million/year in LNG and diesel in the short term, in order to make up for the lost energy. This would emit an additional 33 kilotons of GHGs annually relative to our current emissions. Note that currently, our entire operation only creates 5 kilotons of GHGs each year. We must take the interests of all our ratepayers and Yukoners into consideration in making this decision. Since our water use license expires at the end of next year, and since we can’t operate our Aishihik plant without a new license, time is of the essence. We are already cutting it very close in terms of being able to get through both the YESAA and the Yukon Water Board processes. For all these reasons, we have decided we must move forward on our own with a YESAA proposal late this year or early next. We want to continue working with CAFN, but we simply can’t agree to returning the lake to natural levels.

News, Energy Conservation, Energy Supply, Environment, Reliability
Sep 10, 2018  1

The Next Phase of Our LED Streetlight Project

We are replacing all our existing streetlights with energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. Two years ago we changed the streetlights in Mayo and most of Dawson City. Over the next several weeks we will install LED streetlights in the rest of our service areas, including Faro, Champagne, Braeburn, Mendenhall and rural Dawson. In selecting the lights, we have worked to ensure public safgety while mitigating light pollution. We have received very positive feedback so far about the quality of the light from the new LEDs. Why make the switch? LEDs provide lower power bills for the rural communities we serve LEDs are a better choice for the environment LEDs work well in the cold LEDs use about half the electricity that traditional streetlights do, and they last longer (25 years as opposed to four years) What will be the savings? The people paying the streetlight bill (municipalities, First Nation governments, Yukon government) will see their power bills go down by about $35 a year per light. For example, Faro has approximately 170 lights so that would be a savings for the town of almost $6,000 per year. Yukon Energy will also benefit by seeing energy savings during cold, dark winter nights when our system peaks are highest and we are running thermal generation. Residential customers can see savings by switching to LED lights in their homes. Our electricity conservation and efficiency program inCharge offers $7 rebates on each package of ENERGY STAR® LED lights. 

News, Media Releases, Energy Supply, Environment, Partnerships
Jul 24, 2017  Comment

Yukon Energy, Northern Climate ExChange and INRS partner to study Mayo and Aishihik rivers

Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC), the Northern Climate ExChange (NCE) at Yukon College and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), a graduate school of the University of Quebec’s network, are partnering to study climate change impacts on the Mayo and Aishihik rivers in Yukon. This three-year research project combines two grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) with funding from Yukon Energy. The total value of the project is close to $1-million with close to half of that in cash and in-kind support coming from the energy corporation. The research team will look at how long-term changes in temperature, snow, rain and permafrost may impact each river in the decades to come. This project will allow Yukon Energy to better manage water in each hydroelectric reservoir in the short term while planning for the effects of climate change over time. The research team will also develop a range of tools to allow Yukon Energy to forecast inflow in the Mayo and Aishihik hydroelectric power plants on timescales ranging from weeks to months. “This research is critical to us in terms of helping us plan for climate change and the implications on our ability to generate hydro power,” Yukon Energy president Andrew Hall said. “Because the Aishihik and Mayo facilities are key assets for us, we must be ready for any future changes in the watersheds that feed them.” “NSERC is proud to support applied research and development in high priority areas such as the environment and climate change,” said Bert van den Berg, Acting Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “Connecting industry with applied research expertise at Canadian colleges will result in innovative technologies to help protect our environment and improve the quality of life for Canadians”. For INRS, this project represents an opportunity to expand their research expertise into a new region where they have not previously conducted hydrologic modelling, and with new academic and private sector partners. INRS personnel will conduct research in northern hydrology and build the professional and technological capacities that will help Yukon Energy address climate change challenges. As well, INRS will train YEC professionals on the operation of an inflow forecasting system. “Climate change is already impacting Yukon rivers and lakes in ways we don’t fully understand. We’re excited to continue our work with Yukon Energy and other partners to provide tools and information and help plan for these impacts,” said Brian Horton, project coordinator, Northern Climate ExChange at Yukon College. As the project will study rivers within the traditional territories of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (NND), Yukon Energy and the Northern Climate ExChange are working with each First Nation to determine best locations for the data collection stations. Local First Nations citizens will be invited to work as field assistance, and all data gathered through this project with be shared with the First Nations. Project researchers are heading into the field this summer to install automatic weather stations in the Mayo and Aishihik river regions. Project teams will also engage local schoolchildren in the project with presentations and interactive experiments in the fall term. This project follows from a similar three-year study of the Yukon River recently completed by NCE, Yukon Energy, Yukon Geological Survey, and other collaborators. Based on results from that project researchers estimate that over the next 30 years, Yukon River flows will increase in fall, winter, and spring months, but that the timing and volume of summer peak flows will remain relatively unchanged. Monitoring of the weather near Llewellyn Glacier is ongoing and NCE researchers have trained YEC staff in the use of the project software to ensure the models are updated with contemporary data. For more information visit: yukoncollege.yk.ca/research/hydrology About INRS : http://www.inrs.ca/english/about-us/overview-inrs For more information, contact: Michael Vernon Yukon College - Communications 867.668.8786 867.332.4722 mvernon@yukoncollege.yk.ca Janet Patterson Yukon Energy - Manager, Communications 867.393.5333 867.335.1519 janet.patterson@yec.yk.ca